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Profile Evaluation - Class of 2016

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Joined: 26 Jun 2013
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Profile Evaluation - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2013, 08:15
Hi Jon,

I am looking to apply this Fall 2013, I would appreciate it if you could evaluate my profile.

Male, 26 Years Old
Born in Hong Kong, emigrated to UK aged 10 (dual citizenship)

GPA: Upper Second Class - Top 10 non-Oxbridge UK University
Major: Mathematics (University ranked #3 in the UK for this subject)
Individual grades fluctuated wildly but there was noticeable improvement year on year
GMAT: 740 (Q48, V44)

Work experience:
4.5 years (5.5 years at matriculation)
Insurance – underwriting private equity fund managers, hedge fund managers and other financial institutions. Responsible for developing client and broker relationships.
Leadership role:
- Currently heading up a team comprising of more senior team members in developing a Cyber insurance product to mitigating an emerging risk.
- In my previous role, I was responsible for managing the budget and forecasting for a team of 20+ and a budget of $150m
- Streamlined certain processes to increase efficiency significantly (I will elaborate further in my resume regarding percentages and $ cost savings)
International experience: Regularly deal with clients and brokers from all over the world due to London being the recognised international centre for insurance.
Promoted once and anticipated to be promoted shortly.

Extracurriculars:
1) Music – Accomplished musician in Violin and Piano. I have performed with Orchestra and chamber groups since I was aged 6. Some leadership roles in arranging and leading some of these groups. I am also a self-taught electric guitarist.
2) American Football – I was not a good athlete during school but fell in love with the sport. I ended up representing my university and continued to play for amateur sides until last year when I retired due to injury. I won a National Championship with an amateur team. I am looking to get my coaching credentials to pass on my love of the game.
3) Some occasional volunteering with work to help put together a sports day for disadvantaged children in London. I captained a team of 15 children last year during one of these events.

Languages: English (Native), Chinese (Native), German (Basic), French (Basic)

Short term goal: Management consultancy. I am hoping to use my existing analytical skills and work on projects focusing on marketing position and entry into emerging markets.

Long term goal: Leverage the skills learnt from MC to return to Insurance in an international development role to establish overseas operations. In particular focusing on China due to take advantage of my knowledge of the area and language skills.

Target Program - Fall 2014:
HBS (R1) - Reach
Kellogg
Tuck (R1)
Booth
Wharton
LBS (R2)

I will try and apply to 4 schools in R1 and 2 schools in R2.
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Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2013, 00:02
Expert's post
From where I stand things look pretty good. I didn't really get your UG GPA though, other than the fact that "things fluctuated wildly" (does this mean a low GPA?).

It's a little bit hard for me to say in regards to your specific school list what exactly your chances are, because I would need a bit more info, especially about your workplace, achievements, number of people led, number of promotions etc. etc.

My first impression though is that you may be building yourself a school list which is a bit challenging for you. Yes, you have a good solid career, and an amazing GMAT, but so does everyone else who applies to these programs. (HBS, Tuck, Wharton, Booth)... And from what I see here I have a) a question mark about your GPA b) a non-pedigree undergraduate institute c) a "less than famous" employer (am I wrong here? or is your firm a feeder into HBS.. anyhow it's certainly not as good as a big consulting firm or IB or PE firm). Anyhow, this is not to get you down, because you DO have the numbers, and you DO have a shot, but that you should realize that the competition is tough, and that when you build your strategy you might want to add/change a few schools on your list to ensure that you get an admit. I would say you don't have to go out of the Top 20, and that you should consider adding two-three more schools that are out of the Top 7 to give your strategy a bit more breadth.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2013, 01:29
JonAdmissionado wrote:
From where I stand things look pretty good. I didn't really get your UG GPA though, other than the fact that "things fluctuated wildly" (does this mean a low GPA?).

It's a little bit hard for me to say in regards to your specific school list what exactly your chances are, because I would need a bit more info, especially about your workplace, achievements, number of people led, number of promotions etc. etc.

My first impression though is that you may be building yourself a school list which is a bit challenging for you. Yes, you have a good solid career, and an amazing GMAT, but so does everyone else who applies to these programs. (HBS, Tuck, Wharton, Booth)... And from what I see here I have a) a question mark about your GPA b) a non-pedigree undergraduate institute c) a "less than famous" employer (am I wrong here? or is your firm a feeder into HBS.. anyhow it's certainly not as good as a big consulting firm or IB or PE firm). Anyhow, this is not to get you down, because you DO have the numbers, and you DO have a shot, but that you should realize that the competition is tough, and that when you build your strategy you might want to add/change a few schools on your list to ensure that you get an admit. I would say you don't have to go out of the Top 20, and that you should consider adding two-three more schools that are out of the Top 7 to give your strategy a bit more breadth.

Any thoughts?


Thanks for your reply Jon. I'm not too sure about the GPA conversion but at a guess it would be around 3.3? Regarding the fluctuations, I had a couple of courses in my first year that were particularly low (e.g. Stats 29/100) but this is offset by much better performance in my 2nd and 3rd year with strong scores in some rigorous courses (e.g. Derivatives and Financial Risk Management and Linear Algebra). I am not quite sure where that leaves me frankly.

As for the my UG institution, I realise this is probably going to be a struggle because while it is recognised as a top University in the UK, it seems like schools other than Oxbridge are not really recognised outside the UK. I have noticed though that HBS did admit someone from my UG for the Class 2014.

With regards to my employer, it is definitely not a feeder into b-school but that is more a function of my industry. In the London (and the insurance industry as whole), very few people head to b-school. I only know of one person who applied and was admitted to Insead. I am hoping that my background could be a plus in that I can add my experiences from a non-feeder industry to the class.

As for my list of school, I totally agree and recognise that it is a highly competitive list. However I focused on schools that have solid networks in London as that would be my short term destination. I am also looking at Fuqua, do you think that would be more in my range?
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Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2013, 23:59
Expert's post
Hey there man,
weeeeell Fuqua is probably a bit easier than most of the schools on your list, but no sure bet either. If you want to build a more balanced strategy, then I'd suggest sticking a few schools outside the top 10 in your list - NYU, Johnson, Darden... or Oxford/Cambridge in the UK (which are probably perfect for your goals). Otherwise you are applying with a tough strategy. Which in of itself is fine, but the result might be that you come away without an admit. Everything depends on you and your goals though. And you can of course make the choice to decide to a "top school or bust" and then as a backup plan compromise only one year later if things don't turn out well (but hopefully they will).

The strategy you take in your application is totally up to you, but for it to be a good strategy it's best to think it through all the way to the end. Given your UG and your workplace, I think you see that for top schools like HBS the numbers are going to be a bit stacked against you. You can still try and woo them with your essays, and anyhow all your stats are very good, so like I wrote before you are applying with a chance. But you are gonna have to KILL those essays.

Another alternative, if you really want to stick to top schools (and IMHO a better alternative) is to try and apply to all six or seven schools in R1, and leave the schools out of top 10 for R2, that way you will have some flexibility (even if you will not always get responses back in time for it to be helpful, but you should get at least SOME indication of a result from some schools)
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Jon Frank
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Admissionado.com

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